Sheeba Chadha speaks on lavender marriages and her role in Badhaai Do
The movie explores matrimonial arrangements that queer individuals are often forced to enter under societal pressure
In a country that still goes hush-hush about one’s sexual orientation and choices, Badhaai Do deals with the sensitive topic of a lavender marriage in a matter of fact and subtle manner. Starring Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar in titular roles, the movie explores matrimonial arrangements that queer individuals are often forced to enter under societal pressure. So how does a mother seasoned with conventions react to the truth of her child’s choices? We caught up with Sheeba Chadha, who plays the role of Shardul's (played by Rajkummar) mom, Baby.The actor shares her take on the topic on and off screen.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role in the movie Badhaai Do?
Baby is a character I have fallen in love with. She is different from the preconceived notions we have about a mother, especially the ones who are widowed and hail from a small town. Baby likes to be on the side-lines and does not require the centre stage in her child’s life. She finds happiness in little pleasures as simple as playing video games with a kid she’s sitting with. I think she is someone who likes to go with the flow. Even though she is a little slow, she cannot be deemed stupid. The pace comes out of her laziness. She would rather let someone else take charge of a chore or a decision before she takes it. Her intrinsic reluctance is what was interesting to me.
As mainstream media is coming up with more and more sexually diverse and gender-inclusive content, where do you think we stand in real life?
It is quite mirroring where we are in real life. The fact that same gender marriages are still not legal in our country itself tells us where we are. We are living in a bubble of denial that does not make any sense to me. It is absolutely not pro-choice and refuses to embrace diversity. It is 2022 and it is pathetic to be struggling with this even now. Decriminalisation, however, I feel is still a big step for us as a country.
Will you be seen on stage anytime soon?
Theatre requires me to say no to a lot of work. I just wrapped up with Anand Tewari’S untitled project and will start with his next by March. I also have a couple of other projects like Dr. G down my pipeline. Hence I have been doing very little theatre these days.